Narayanganj’s Jatiya Party lawmaker AKM Salim Osman appeared before a Dhaka court on Sunday in a case filed for the assault and humiliation of schoolteacher Shyamal Kanti Bhakta based on a false allegation of blasphemy last year.
Accepting the judicial inquiry report on March 29, Dhaka’s Chief Judicial Magistrate Jasmine Ara ordered the lawmaker and another youth named Opu, who beat up the headmaster in his room last year, to appear before it on Sunday.
Salim’s lawyer Nazibullah Hiru placed before the court the two-week bail order given by the High Court on May 8, and also submitted a petition seeking exemption from personal appearance.
After a hearing, the judge asked the lawmaker and Opu to appear before it on May 23, rejecting Salim’s petition.
The legal process began after a judicial inquiry committee found the allegations of assaulting the teacher and forcing him to do squats holding his ears at Salim Osman’s order to be true.
Later the High Court on January 22 transferred the case from the Narayanganj Chief Judicial Magistrate Court to Dhaka’s Chief Judicial Magistrate Court. It also dismissed a report filed by Narayanganj district police which concluded that they had not found the involvement of the MP in the incident.
Judge Jasmine Ara received the High Court order and case documents on February 28.
Shyamal Kanti, the headmaster of Piyar Sattar Latif High School in Narayanganj, was beaten up by 10-12 persons led by Opu on the school premises on May 13, 2016.
Later more people gathered at the school demanding his punishment after announcements were made using loudspeakers of local mosques that he had made derogatory comments on Islam.
Salim appeared at the scene and forced the teacher to do squats while holding his ears as punishment for his “crimes,” in the presence of the agitators, triggering countrywide outrage.
Thousands of people posted photos and videos of doing squats on Facebook expressing resentment over the humiliation of the teacher.
On the other hand, members of several radical Islamist parties including Hefazat-e-Islam demanded his harsh punishment of the teacher while militants linked to al-Qaeda threatened to kill him.
Shyamal Kanti was also removed from his position on May 17, but the Education Ministry later reinstated him and dissolved the school’s managing committee.
The inquiry commission has found that the assault of Shyamal Kanti was instigated by several members of the managing committee over some development work.